Ka Loko Reservoir

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Ka Loko Reservoir
Kaloko breach.jpg
Aerial photo of the Ka Loko Dam breach
Location Kauai, Hawaii
Coordinates 22°10′39″N 159°22′39″W / 22.17750°N 159.37750°W / 22.17750; -159.37750Coordinates: 22°10′39″N 159°22′39″W / 22.17750°N 159.37750°W / 22.17750; -159.37750
Type reservoir
Basin countries United States

Ka Loko Reservoir is a reservoir created by an earthen dam, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. It is located on the north side of the island, at 22°10′39″N 159°22′39″W / 22.17750°N 159.37750°W / 22.17750; -159.37750. Waters flow from Ka Loko Reservoir down to Waiakalua Reservoir, Waiakalua Stream, and down to the Pacific Ocean.

Ka Loko (sometimes spelled Kaloko) is notable because its dam burst on March 14, 2006. The dam burst was preceded by unusually heavy rain. The flood from the dam failure raced downhill through a ravine east of the town of Kilauea, Hawaii, with a wall of water reported to be between 20 and 70 feet high (6 to 20 m high), and 200 feet (60 m) wide. The flood destroyed several homes, killed 7 people, including a toddler and a pregnant woman.

An independent civil investigation of the dam failure attributed several possible conditions and practices that may have led to the dam failure.[1] For example, the State of Hawaii did not adequately inspect the dam and did not have enough dam inspectors to cover all of the antiquated dams in the state.[1] The owner of the dam (James Pflueger) performed grading operations near the dam without permits and may have filled in the emergency spillway for the dam.[1] Neither the current nor prior owners of the dam maintained the dam adequately.[1] Finally, the County of Kauai knew about the unpermitted grading operation, but did not enforce a stop-work order.[1]

On November 21, 2008, James Pflueger was indicted for manslaughter and reckless endangerment in relation to the dam failure.[2] Pflueger's lawyer claims that the indictment was attempt by the state of Hawaii to deflect its own responsibility in the matter.[2]

On August 4, 2009, it was reported that a settlement between the parties of all civil cases has been agreed upon, pending judicial review. On July 17, 2013, Pflueger entered a plea of no contest to reckless endangering in a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for the plea, state prosecutors agreed to drop seven manslaughter counts.[3]

External links and references[edit]

Aerial view of the highway damage caused by rushing flood waters
  1. ^ a b c d e Godbey, Robert Carson (January 2007). "Report of the Independent Civil Investigation of the March 14, 2006, Breach of Ka Loko Dam". Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. 
  2. ^ a b Finnegan, Tom (2008-11-22). "Pflueger is indicted over Ka Loko breach". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. 
  3. ^ "Man Accepts Plea Deal in Deadly Kauai Dam Breach". ABC News. 2013-07-17.